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PhD - Aging and transformations of sociabilities in Europe M/F

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General information

Reference : UMR7363-MARDEL-001
Workplace : STRASBOURG
Date of publication : Friday, September 27, 2019
Scientific Responsible name : Philippe Cordazzo (Professor of Demography, UDS/SAGE); Jean-Philippe Heurtin (Professor of Political Science, IEP de Strasbourg-UDS/SAGE)
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 November 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Aging and transformations of sociabilities in Europe

As many gerontologists have pointed out, isolation and inactivity are one of the main factors endangering the health of the elderly. However, the available data (Eurostat) clearly indicate a transformation of sociability after 75 years at European level: more than 40% live alone (censuses). Almost 10% of respondents have no one to discuss personal matters with (SILC survey) and 7% have had no contact with any family member in the past 12 months (SILC survey). With age, all indicators of social participation also decline: According to the European SILC survey (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions), in 2015, only 37.6% of people aged 75 or over participated in at least one cultural or sporting activity in the last 12 months. This proportion varies from 5% to 70.5% depending on the European countries, indicating significant territorial differences. It is also the indexes of political participation, as electoral sociology has long shown, that are declining. As a result, there is an overall decline in the social capital of senior citizens. This observation is part of a context of accelerated ageing of European populations [in 2017 the ageing index of the European Union countries is 29.9% compared to 25.8% in 2009 (Eurostat)] which has an impact on the social care of these populations, and which leads - at least the hypothesis can be made - to more general socio-political transformations that the thesis will have to explore.

The doctoral contract aims to analyse the shape of the transformation of sociability and, more broadly, of social participation in the wake of ageing. The proposed survey, at the crossroads of demography, sociology and political science, aims to explore this phenomenon in a comparative and European way (according to the traditions of differentiated sociability between the countries of southern and northern Europe). It will use a proven methodology in sociability surveys by contact book and biographical analysis. This survey methodology is particularly suitable for exploring the transformations of sociability and their variation according to age, the location of older persons and their economic and cultural capital over large and socio-demographically diversified cohorts. We wish to explore the biological, geographical and social determinants of these transformations, but also the tools put in place by the various stakeholders (entourages, social services, associations, etc.) to influence their trajectories. We also wish to measure the differences between generations, paying particular attention to the generations of baby boomers who have reached retirement age; generations that differ from the previous ones in terms of overall higher levels of education butthat have also had significant political experiences for many of them: it will thus be the political characteristics and experiences of the elderly that will be the focus of detailed exploration and their impact on sociabilities.

Work Context

The UMR 7363 SAGE (Societies, Actors, Government in Europe), created on January 1, 2013, is the result of the merger of 4 research units: the GSPE, European Political Sociology Group, team of the UMR PRISME, the CRESS, Centre de Recherche et d'Etude en Sciences Sociales, the LESVS, team of the Laboratory of Epistemology of Life and Health Sciences and the CDES, Centre du Droit de l'Environnement de Strasbourg, later joined by researchers from the Faculty of Geography.
At October 1, 2016, the UMR SAGE had 10 CNRS researchers, 54 full professors, 5 engineers and technicians and 68 doctoral students. Marine De Lassalle, PR of Sociology, is the Director and Philippe Cordazzo, PR of Demography, the Deputy Director.
This multidisciplinary unit brings together researchers and teacher-researchers who work on the processes of transnationalisation (and in particular European integration as a response to increasing globalisation) and on the transformations of structures and the social and political dynamics they are triggering. In this perspective, particular attention is paid to the sociology of the actors, the development and implementation of public standards and mechanisms and the genesis of societal issues (environment, health, ageing, social vulnerabilities, culture, cities) as well as their territorialisation dynamics at different scales.
The work of the UMR members is characterized by empirical work to test theoretically based hypotheses and by the cross-fertilization of both qualitative and quantitative methods in the social sciences (archives, ethnographic surveys, data analysis) allowing an integrated multidisciplinary approach around common questions.
SAGE is a social science and political research unit and positions itself in an original way on key themes such as health, environmental law and sustainable urban development, cultural and social policies, internationalisation and the circulation of elites, the political sociology of Europe and collective mobilisations. The research is structured in 6 closely linked axes within which the members of the UMR circulate.

Additional Information

Candidates must have a minimum of skills in qualitative and quantitative methods in the social sciences.

Documents to be provided:

- Curriculum vitae
- Letter of motivation
- Research project, i.e. how the candidate intends to approach the research topic (max. 2 pages).

Deadline for application: 31 Octobre.

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